Police chief and Dollis Hill couple deny child abuse video charges, court hears
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A senior Metropolitan Police officer made “serious errors of judgment” when she failed to report her Dollis Hill sister for sharing an indecent video of a young child on WhatsApp, a trial has heard.
Acting Ch Supt Novlett Robyn Williams was allegedly sent a "disgusting and disturbing" clip by her social worker Jennifer Hodge, 56.
Williams denies ever seeing the video, while Hodge and her partner Dido Massivi - a bus driver also from Dollis Hill - deny charges of distributing indecent photographs of a child.
The clip sent to Williams was of a child of about five years old engaging in a sex act with a man. She is accused of choosing not to inform police out of fear it would implicate her sister and her partner, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.
She was one of 17 people sent the video - which lasted just less than a minute - by her Hodge, who had received it in turn from Massivi.
The court was told that Williams, as a senior police officer, had an obligation to report the video herself.
Outlining the case, prosecutor Richard Wright QC told jurors: "Miss Williams did not report the video. Therefore we say not only did she commit the criminal offence of possessing it, but she also failed to exercise her powers as a police officer to act upon it.
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"Here, in simple terms, we say that the defendant Williams failed to act because she knew that to do so would place her sister and her sister's partner at risk of arrest and a criminal offence."
Mr Wright told jurors it was not suggested that Williams, Hodge or Massivi had any sexual interest in the video or had any "sinister purpose" in having or sharing it.
He said: "This is instead a case in which we allege that each of them made serious errors of judgment about how to handle this video and, in dealing with it as they did, each of them has committed serious criminal offences."
Mr Wright said jurors will be asked to decide whether Hodge had "a legitimate reason" to send the video on to others - including her sister - in her apparent quest to identify the male in the video and have him arrested.
Bus driver Massivi, 61, also of Brent, denies two counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child, and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying a person having sex with a horse.
Jurors were told Massivi also said he had a "legitimate reason" for distributing the content.
The trial, which continues on Friday morning, is listed to last for up to three weeks.